31/01/11 – Kyoto 京都

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One of the places I’ve really wanted to visit is Kyoto. If you want to see a place with lots of temples and traditional Japanese style houses, Kyoto is the place to go. We woke up early to go to Kyoto since we wanted to make the most of our day. Initially we wanted to spend 2 days in Kyoto but decided not to at the end of the day.

We took the JR line to get to Kyoto, it cost 540 yen one day which isn’t too bad. We took the express line to get there and by memory it only took about 20 minutes I believe to get from Umeda (Osaka) to Kyoto station.

This ticket was actually the ticket to go back to Osaka. We got to Kyoto by taking the subway to Umeda station and then walking to Osaka station (JR line)

First we did was went to buy a sight seeing pass in Kyoto. The one day sight seeing pass was around 1000yen I think? I’ve forgotten but it wasn’t anything too expensive. You can either buy the pass I bought or there is a cheaper card. The one I bought, you can use any bus and any subway for free for the day. The other card was about 600yen and you can only use a bus inside a certain area, so if you want to go to other temples outside the area you will need to pay for the buses. Since we wanted to go to other places outside the area we decided to get the more expensive pass.

Kyoto bus station

We first took a bus that took us to Kiyomizu temple. This temple is HUGE o_O There are many things you can take pictures of outside the temple. To go inside the temple you need to pay 200 -300 yen (forgotten again T_T) But it’s worth going in and taking a look around. Because we came in winter, none of the trees had any leaves T_T They were all dead looking… if we came during spring then the trees would all have cherry blossoms on them, or if we came in autumn they would’ve all had leaves. I definitely want to visit Kyoto during Spring sometime.

You write a wish on these

To enter the actual temple itself it costs 300 yen I think.

You can buy many good luck charms here and there are many souveniers.

There is also something called the “Love Stone” at this temple. Basically you have to touch the rock on one side, then close your eyes and walk to the other rock and touch it. If you do then it means you will find your love soon, if you don’t you won’t until a long time after haha. We all tried it but I didn’t make it, walked too much on the right hand side T_T

We continued walking around the temple and taking photos. There is a lot to do around here.

After the temple we went to get some lunch.

Streets of Kyoto

We went around everywhere to find food but couldn't find a decent restaurant that wasn't too expensive, so we decided to go to Sukiya in the end .__.

I got Japanese curry with cheese and hamburger haha. It was quite good

Our next stop was Arashiyama which is a bamboo forest. We decided to take the subway there and then catch the bus.

Krispy Kremes in the subway station!

We got on the bus but I was so exhausted I fell asleep for the whole trip >< We got off the bus and walked across a bridge to find Arashiyama

We weren't actually meant to cross the bridge and ended up at a zoo where you can see monkeys or something. Luckily we ran into a Western lady who has been living in Kyoto for 36 years (I think that was what she said) so she showed us where Arashiyama is.

We were in a rush for time as most temples close around 4.30-5pm. We didn't have time for Kinkakuji (The Golden Pavilion) since we had to travel quite a long distance. We weren't too interested in it either so we decided not to go. We really wanted to visit Suzumushi Otera though. Our friend in Osaka told us that it's a famous temple for Japanese people where they go and make a wish and apparently it comes true. The temple also has suzumushi (They're like crickets) who live all season (I can't really remember but they usually only live in Summer I think?). Anyway, we rushed to this temple by bus and just made it in time.

We had made it just in time for the last session. Before making the wish you had to go and listen to the instructions first for 500yen. Unfortunately it was all in Japanese and the guy spoke super fast >< However I did get most of what he was saying, there were 3 rules you had to keep in mind when making your wish. You can't wish for something like "eternal happiness" or something like "I want to be good at my work" because you're meant to work on it yourself. There was another rule but I didn't quite get it. We then bought the things we needed to make the wish, it was 300yen I think.
When your wish comes true, you need to go back to the temple and you can make a new wish. I'm keeping this with me everywhere I go so hopefully my wish does come true so I have an excuse to go back to Japan :P

After Suzumushi Otera we decided to go get dinner then head off home. All the temples were closed by then so there was no point going anywhere else. We caught the train back to the main Kyoto city area to find some dinner, ended up going to a Chinese ramen place.

Ramen wasn't the best there, it didn't taste authentic (owned by Chinese) so yeah, didn't like it so much

After dinner we walked back to the metro subway to get back to Kyoto station. Along the way I found a funny shop name

The Japanese katakana says "Kinki Homu" so yeah, "Kinky Home"? hahaha

At the Kyoto train station Eric and I decided to buy some Krispy Kremes for breakfast the next morning xD

Kyoto was a nice place to be in, very different from the city side of Japan and it was good to experience the more cultural side. Kiyomizu temple was good but was crowded with tourists when I went. Suzumushi isn't famous amongst tourists so when we went it was just Japanese people. I did wish I did go to Kinkakuji, but I guess I can leave that till next time I go to Japan :P If you are only planning to go to Kyoto for 1 day, get there EARLY. We got there maybe 10am? So yeah, we did waste a lot of time trying to find a place to eat lunch as well so yeah, don't waste as much time as we did otherwise you wouldn't be able to cover all of what you want.

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January 21, 2012 at 11:42 AM delete

reading all your posts about your travels in japan really reminded me of the 10 days I went (mainly because we went to so many of the same places!!! it really makes me want to go back!!!!!) btw I'm also from Australia (even though right now I live in the middle east!) I love reading your blog (though I've been reading it front to back lol) <3